Could the Packers take a chance on Jalen Thompson in 2019 supplemental draft?

-- Brian Gutekunst has said before that he's always willing to improve his team's roster. But could the Green Bay Packers' general manager look to do so in this year's supplemental draft?

It's not too far out of the realm of possibility, especially given the team's abysmal record -- by their standards -- in 2018.

In the supplemental draft, NFL teams are separated into three groups based off of the previous campaign. The first group being teams with six or fewer wins, the second group are non-playoff teams with more than six wins and the third group are playoff teams. The Packers, who finished with a 6-9-1 record, fall under the first category.

In order to acquire any of the players in the supplemental draft, the Packers would need to forfeit one of their draft selections for the following season. For example, if Gutekunst and co. wanted to add one of the prospects to their roster, they would need to place a bid with whichever round they'd like to select the player. If hypothetically, the Packers submit a fifth-round pick, another team can leapfrog them and bid with a higher pick.

However, if two teams bid with a selection in the same round, the team with higher priority in the pecking order will be awarded the player while the losing team retains their pick.

Only eight supplemental draft picks have been Pro Bowl selections since 1985. With such a low hit rate, could the Packers take a chance?

Washington State safety Jalen Thompson may warrant it.

An all-conference defensive back for the Cougars, Thompson was docked with a violation of NCAA rules and lost out on the final year of collegiate eligibility. As is often the case with players whose senior seasons are shot, he applied for the supplemental draft as something of a last-ditch effort of achieving his professional dreams.

News of Thompson's decision was first reported by NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, who noted that Thompson "should be selected," and rightfully so.

Thompson had six interceptions in his sophomore and junior seasons combined en route to earning All-Pac-12 acknowledgment, finishing his three-year stint at Washington State with 190 tackles, 17 passes defended and two forced fumbles. He was slated to be one of the top safeties in the nation this fall, which certainly bodes well for his chances of landing with a team in the supplemental draft.

The supplemental draft should fall in the second week of July, so if the Packers feel they could use his services and aren't satisfied with their current safety depth -- which would make sense -- then the countdown is underway.

The Packers signed Adrian Amos to a four-year, $36 million dollar deal during the free agency period in March and spent one of their two first-round picks on Maryland's Darnell Savage the following month.

Outside of that pairing that is presumed to be the team's starting duo, the position isn't anything to write home about. Raven Greene, an undrafted free agent coming off his rookie season, flashed potential. Josh Jones didn't participate in minicamp earlier this month and requested to be traded, which, if the Packers can't find a suitor, will likely lead to his release. Tray Matthews and Mike Tyson may be nothing more than camp bodies barring anything unforeseen.

There's also the multi-positional services of Tramon Williams, the most seasoned player on the Packers' roster at 36 years old.

Once the Packers shopped former first-round pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at last year's trade deadline, Williams stepped into the starting free safety role and exceeded expectations. Of course, given the current level of optimism pertaining to Amos and Savage, Williams filling in as a starting safety in any facet in 2019 would be a monumental disappointment.

Natrell Jamerson and Will Redmond, both listed as cornerbacks on the Packers' roster, were also given opportunities at safety during the offseason workout program.

The Packers' defense of the deep ball last season was their weakest point, and much of that had to do with the play of their safeties. Clinton-Dix wasn't beat deep, but was a liability in the open field. Kentrell Brice wasn't a liability in the open field, but a complete enigma when tested with the deep ball.

Jones, who has shown that he's more than capable of serving as a hybrid linebacker and playing in the teeth of the defense, often in run support, was given an opportunity in coverage later in the year. He drastically underperformed, as did the entirety of the position group.

Maybe the Packers could use Thompson's services. One of his preeminent traits is his man coverage ability, according to The Draft Network, as well as the difficulty in beating him deep.

"Multiple examples of great participation and recognition of switch stems/route pairings in half a field; has the ability to work pattern match ideas and orchestrated fellow defenders mid-play," Benjamin Solak wrote. "Will be patient from off-man alignment over #2 and #3 receivers, maintaining upfield leverage."

The Packers will open training camp later next month, with rookies reporting on July 22 and veterans on July 24. Whether or not Thompson is a part of that group remains to be seen, but he would certainly be a welcomed addition to a unit whose depth seems to be lacking. 

__________________________

Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

3 points

Comments (28)

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PackerfanAuggie15's picture

June 29, 2019 at 10:14 pm

Any idea if J. Thompson has made a visit or gone through anything like the testing, interviews and workouts that lead up to the April draft? Clearly I'm no scout but, can't imagine Gutey bids/risks higher than a fourth on him.

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CoachJV's picture

June 29, 2019 at 10:25 pm

Well, considering he just found out yesterday that he would not be eligible for his senior season - which I'm sure was a surprise - I really don't think he's had time to test or interview. He fully intended to play college ball this season, so there was no need to interview.

Besides,, this is speculation on the writer, not anything that is an actual rumor or been spoken around Lombardi Ave...

And with Ibrahiem Campbell set to return, I don't think that this particular player would be targeted... if any.

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Lare's picture

June 30, 2019 at 08:49 am

Anybody hear anything about the status of Ibraheim Campbell? His availability might determine whether the Packers look for more safety depth or not.

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CoachJV's picture

June 30, 2019 at 09:50 am

Last word I heard was at the end of OTA's. The prediction then was that he would be ready for his physical at the start of training camp. I haven't heard anything since... so maybe no news is good news.

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jannes bjornson's picture

June 30, 2019 at 12:31 pm

Doubt they pick him back up. Tramon can cover as the FS and Greene at SS. I would take a chance on the kid from WSU with a three pick.

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CoachJV's picture

June 30, 2019 at 09:31 pm

I highly disagree... Pettine drafted Campbell in Cleveland, and fits the system well. He's pretty good statistically, and he played very well for us last year in his short stint. I think he could be very good for us. He's not afraid to tackle, he knows the system, and we can get him at veteran minimum. Smart money says he's a Packer when he passes his physical.

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albert999's picture

June 29, 2019 at 10:18 pm

Do whatever you have to ....to win
Or come Playoff time go home

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TheVOR's picture

June 30, 2019 at 08:52 am

Totally agree, how about this, he falls in the Supplemental draft, GB selects him and forfeits a pick in 2020 "That We Regain" by trading Josh Jones? We'd get a player that can actually play in exchange for a guy who does not want to be in GB.. Sounds right to me..

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J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

June 30, 2019 at 09:03 pm

that's a heck of an awesome scenario, VOR! Gotta promote and utilize playmaker acquisition through all available avenues. In order to make room for these heady playmaker types, the remaining TT riff raff are finding all sorts of paths onto that jet at Austin Straubel. Most will never return, few will once in a while, as members of some crummy special teams unit, wearing some guady neon colored uniform. We haven't seen this much (bottom of the roster) turnover(s) since Charles Woodson was baiting Cutler into yet another pick...

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 30, 2019 at 01:10 am

He is listed at 6' and 180 on The Draft Network and at 6' and 190 pounds on the college stats site and in some articles. At any rate, he is a FS or perhaps a slot guy, not a SS. The Draft Network's scouting report is interesting, if a trifle schizophrenic about the guy.

Theo Lawson of the Sportsman Review (local guy?) is reporting that the suspension is due to PEDs. If so, that would mean Thompson would start his NFL career already in the NFL's drug program.

He was supposedly a day two pick had he come out this year. The Packers' bid (if any) would be based on their 2018 record, but the actual pick will be based on their 2019 record. So a 2nd might turn out to be a pick in the sixties, and a 3rd might turn out to be in the nineties, but the NFL will award Thompson to the team with the highest priority in the round bid. Thompson would report in time for TC.

GB used a 2nd round pick in the 1998 supplement draft to pick Mike Wahle, who lost his eligibility due to a PEDs offense. Cleveland used a 2nd on Josh Gordon in 2012 after he lost eligibility for substance abuse (weed).

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sonomaca's picture

June 30, 2019 at 01:26 am

If you buy his story about OTC supplement causing positive PED, it’s very tempting. Probably get him with a 2.

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NickPerry's picture

June 30, 2019 at 06:08 am

I know you said it would probably take a 2 but I personally don't want to see the Packers use another 1st or 2nd on a DB...

2014 HHCD
2015 Randall & Rollins
2017 King & Jones (Plus no TJ Watt)
2018 Alexander & Jackson
2019 Savage

IF the Packers REALLY want this kid AND he's already been linked to PED's, put in a bid no earlier than the 4th or 5th.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 30, 2019 at 07:18 am

It looks like the Packers have the 12th highest priority. Just scanning the 11 teams with a better priority, it looks to me like 7 will stink again in 2019, meaning that if those teams bid a 2nd round pick, the actual pick might well be #33 to #39. I don't know hardly anything about Thompson, but that might be too rich for him.

SF and Cincy might improve enough so their 2nd rounder might be in the fifties, but the others would still be in the forties, most likely. Again, I have to wonder if that isn't too rich for a guy with a PEDs suspension who doesn't sound like a stud or plug and play guy per the Draft Network.

If GB bid a 2nd, they'd have a very good shot at being awarded Thompson. A 3rd might still get him, but IDK, and a 4th probably doesn't, as a guess. Is he even worth the 134th pick in the 2020 draft? GB already has Savage, Amos, and Tramon who can play FS, but our depth at SS seems a little shaky. IDK if Thompson is a real CB candidate. The fit doesn't seem great to me.

Does anyone know much about this guy?

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flackcatcher's picture

June 30, 2019 at 04:15 pm

Saw him play last couple of years. Like most college DB is smaller than listed. Closer to 5'10 maybe 5'11, weight closer to 175 range than 180. Under their system more of a FS than CB. Played smart, under control, cover a lot of weakness in their secondary. But in college every DB is by need a CB/boundary player with the spread-wildcat becoming the standard offensive formation these days. Some what like T. Williams when he came out. Would need more time in the weight and class room at the pro level. ST maybe, more likely PS if a team picks him. Could be core player if the right team picks him, but he needs at least a year, and he knew it which is why he was returning. (Saw a lot of PAC 10 over the past couple of years. Difference between BIG 10 and ACC is striking.)

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MarkinMadison's picture

June 30, 2019 at 07:21 am

Information on him is really inconsistent and probably very outdated. I can't find any recent highlight films on him. The hit rate in the supplemental draft is so low that I'd hate to see a 2nd round pick used on him. Newspapers in Carolina and Seattle have picked this story up already.

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draftnut59's picture

June 30, 2019 at 08:01 am

If you follow the link to The Draft Network (easy to do), you can read the full review for yourself. Ben Solok doesn’t go into depth in his review, instead opting for the “Pros and Cons” type of review. Typically, as with all draft prospects, Thompson has some positives and some negatives. The thing that bothers me the most about the Thompson review is that there’s more cons than pros. His best qualities are man coverage close to the line and run defense playing deep. According to Solok, he is easily fooled by fakes and diversions (the mental part of the game). So, he’s got good physical traits, but is very inconsistent in his diagnostic abilities. I’m no scout, but I’ve seriously followed draft reviews for years. Thompson sounds more like a fifth or a sixth round flyer than a serious third round prospect.

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Coldworld's picture

June 30, 2019 at 08:35 am

If true that he is best close to the line, and from reading he is 180 pounds, I would be worried about his ability to translate from college to the NFL. Looking at the draftnetwork.com site, I’m not getting that picture at all though.

He is cited as a good off cover man but as being poor in press and as having major questions relating to his tackling. In implies that this was why he has had very little experience in the box. They go as far as to see him as more of a slot corner type than a safety.

If he is a slot corner who can’t press then he is a developmental prospect in GB terms. Moreover, I’m not sure we need another young slot type given the current 90. He wouldn’t be a candidate to replace Jones. He would be, based upon what I am looking at, a candidate to back up Savage.

If that is correct, why would we spend a 2nd on that player type? Why are we even looking at a 2nd—where did that come from? Since he played in Washington state, U went to the local media. The Seattle Times has this to say ( today); “Thompson had already been generally projected as a possible pick anywhere from rounds three to six for the 2020 draft with the thought that his stock could rise if he were to have an especially productive senior year.”

Based upon that, a 2nd rounder would be an exorbitant price to pay for any team. I think more than most in the case of the Packers based upon the above being correct. This quick review of sources leads me to think that a 5th round might be too expensive, but that I certainly don’t see a case for bidding a higher pick than that, if at all.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 01, 2019 at 01:09 am

I read a couple of articles that suggested he would have been a day two prospect had he come out for the 2019 draft. That denotes a 2nd or 3rd rounder. I think it was in nflmockdrafts and PFT.

That said, I don't see the fit. He'd be the 3rd or 4th string FS or maybe the 3rd string slot guy. And it sounds like he needs a year, particularly for the slot. Probably a 4th to 6th round bid.

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4thand1's picture

June 30, 2019 at 09:02 am

Way to many unknowns and red flags to risk a high draft pick. If he had to use PEDS to compete at the college level, how does he stay clean to compete at the pro level?

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sonomaca's picture

June 30, 2019 at 09:52 am

That’s a good point. Clearly, the NCAA didn’t buy his story. Lots of NFL guys suspended for PED’s, including SB hero Edelman. Packers do have the advantage of bad record 2018/good record 2019 as explained earlier. Plus, he plays for you this year. Maybe a 3rd?

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Since'61's picture

June 30, 2019 at 10:45 am

I would not use any pick above a 4th round for him and preferably a 5th and even then only if the Packers believe they don’t have anyone currently on the team (e.g., Greene or Campbell) who is not better than Thompson.

I would not mind having him in camp but Based on his size he is probably a long shot to make the team. Although he could spend a year on the PS and maybe ready for 2020. Thanks, Since ‘61

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sonomaca's picture

June 30, 2019 at 11:00 am

Walter Football has him as a late second in their 2020 mock.

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Since'61's picture

June 30, 2019 at 11:21 am

Since he won’t be playing in 2019 I would suspect his draft value will drop by 2 rounds or more. Thanks, Since ‘61

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Coldworld's picture

June 30, 2019 at 04:37 pm

Washington commentators have him somewhere in between rounds 3 and 6 consistently.

Furthermore, he is not a candidate for SS. He rarely got close to the line, is small built, can’t press and struggles to tackle. Where he shines is playing off. He is a FS or slot corner. He is not a substitute for Jones or comparable to Ibrahim Campbell. If anything he would be depth behind Savage or fighting with Brown for the last slot corner.

The second round comments and the notion of him as a box safety are totally misleading.

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Since'61's picture

July 01, 2019 at 09:33 am

Coldworld - I agree, especially with your 2nd round comments. Thanks, Since ‘61

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Handsback's picture

June 30, 2019 at 03:19 pm

There's a TE that may be more attractive as a 7th round pick-up. 6-6, lean, can run and needs some strength added to his frame.

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NMPF's picture

July 01, 2019 at 06:20 pm

Pass

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OnWisconsinGoPack's picture

July 02, 2019 at 08:26 am

My argument won't hold a lot of water because players always make big jumps from one year to another or come back for another year when they don't have too BUT if you're good enough to be drafted in rds 1-2 or there's not a lot that separates you from others at that position, you enter the draft....I guess I'm saying I couldn't see anything higher than a 5th, maybe a 4th being considered, especially since he will be a backup or secondary slot option/dime package at best.

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